At the journalism workshop, I learned how to describe the space and places around me in a way that would intrigue others. Not only was the guest speaker, Heidi Mitchell, attention-grabbing and funny, but she also taught me a lot about travel writing and journalism.
Some of the important things I learned pertaining to travel writing were:
- On the trip there, take lots of notes, and plan out the article/story while you’re still there.
- Create an outline to help you organize your thoughts and ideas.
- The first paragraph has to be attention-grabbing! The lede has to be engaging and exciting.
- A flash-forward often helps with grabbing your readers’ attention. Start in the middle of the story, and then pull back and explain things.
- Have your piece fleshed out: be sure to include engaging characters and give readers a sense of time and place.
Heidi did all of these things with the reading of her own work. The story of her riding a galloping horse immediately grabbed my attention, and after that she never lost it for even a second. She was interactive and informative. I’ve never before given much thought or time to the travel articles I’ve seen in magazines and in papers, but now I’m really intrigued. I had a lot of fun with the free-write, and this workshop has inspired me to delve deeper into this genre of writing.